ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — St. Petersburg Police officially opened their brand new $78.5 million dollar headquarters Friday.
The building is 168,000 square feet, nearly double the size of the former police station, which dates back to the 1950s.
The new building is strong enough to withstand a category five hurricane. Police Chief Anthony Holloway says their old building couldn’t even handle a category one storm.
With state of the art forensics labs, detectives will be able to find trace DNA evidence and store it for years in specialized refrigerators and filing cabinets.
The building will also house St. Pete’s more than 560 officers, while leaving space to hire more.
Rick Kriseman, St Pete's Mayor, says it's a huge improvement.
“It’s hard to do your job when your working in substandard facilities and you don’t have all the tools at your disposal to do your job. Now, they will,” Kriseman explained.
Chief Holloway agreed.
"The most important thing is it's built for growth. This is a police headquarters that will suit us well into the future,” Holloway added.
So what will happen with the old building? City hall will be temporarily moved to the former headquarters as they make repairs to the city hall building. From there, the city hopes to sell the land to developers.
Officers will officially move into the new headquarters over the next few weeks.